Abraham's Journey Map

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Where did Abraham's journey to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan) begin? How old was he when he left his hometown? Who came with him on the trip? What places did he visit? How long did it take him?

1960 to 1890 B.C.
Birth and Early Life of Abraham

Abram (Abraham) is born in 1960 B.C. to a 130 year old man named Terah living in Ur of the Chaldees. He is the third son in a family composed of older brother Haran (60 years old) and second oldest Nahor. The family, like many others in Ur (which is a seaport at the time), worships pagan deities (Joshua 24:2).

God, at an unknown time, appears to Abraham while he is still in Ur and commands him to leave.

Abraham's Journey to the Promised Land Map
Abraham's Journey to the Promised Land

The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran (Haran), and said to him, "Leave your land and your kindred, and come into the land that I will show you."

Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Charran; and from there, after his father died, He removed him to this country (Canaan, the Promised Land) in which you now dwell. (Acts 7:2 - 4, HBFV throughout).

The family, after the death of Haran, finally leaves the city and travels northwest along the Euphrates River. Making the long journey are Terah, Abraham (now 70) and his wife Sarah (Sarai), Nahor and his wife Milcah, plus Nahor's son Lot and his wife (Genesis 11:29 - 31). They end up in a city named Haran in a region called Padanaram.

1890 to 1885 B.C.
Leaving Haran

Terah, after living five years in Haran, dies at the age of 205 (Genesis 11:32). God again commands Abraham, who is now 75 (Genesis 12:4), to leave for a land he will show him.

And the Lord said to Abram (Abraham), "Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house into a land that I will show you.

"And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:1 - 3).

The patriarch, along with Sarah, Lot and his wife, along with their slaves, then journey south to the land of Canaan (the Promised Land). Nahor and his family (except Lot and his family) stay in Haran.

1885 to 1880 B.C.
Shechem, Bethel and Famine

The group, now led by Abraham, journeys to the Canaanite city of Shechem. God confirms his promise of land to the patriarch which motivates him to build an altar dedicated to the Lord (Genesis 12:6 - 7). After living in the area for a short time they travel farther south to an area east of Bethel (initially named Luz).

And he moved from there to a mountain on the east of Bethel. And he pitched his tent with Bethel toward the sea and Hai (Ai) on the east. And he built an altar there to the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord. (Genesis 12:8).

After staying an unknown period of time near Bethel the group again journeys south (Genesis 12:9). It is at this point that the Bible is silent regarding where Abraham lived. He likely settled near either the city of Hebron or Beersheba. He and his family live in this area until a severe famine motivates them to sojourn in Egypt (Genesis 12:10).

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